When the Jets traded up to pick No. 3 overall in the 2018 NFL Draft, they thought they were getting a franchise quarterback. Instead of staying put at No. 6 and letting Josh Allen fall into their lap, they mortgaged their future for Darnold.
Since Darnold’s arrival, the team hasn’t made the playoffs and has been pretty irrelevant. Despite going 7-6 during his second season, the Jets have a 13-25 overall record with him under center.
You can blame the coaching, general manager, offensive line, and/or lack of offensive weapons, but at the end of the day, this team hasn’t done anything with Darnold as their starter.
As for some of his colleagues drafted in the 2018 NFL Draft, Baker Mayfield, Josh Allen, and Lamar Jackson have all won playoff games for their respective teams. In addition, Jackson has already won an NFL MVP, while Allen finished second in MVP voting last season.
Nobody knows whether or not any of those three quarterbacks would have had the same career they currently have if they’d played in New York, but it’s disappointing knowing that those other teams found their franchise guy.
NY Jets need to trade Sam Darnold for assets
In life, you don’t always have an opportunity for a second chance. However, by holding the No. 2 overall selection in this year’s draft, the Jets have a chance to start fresh.
The Arizona Cardinals were put in a similar situation as the Jets currently are two seasons ago. In the same draft that New York selected Darnold third overall, the Cardinals selected Josh Rosen at No. 10, hoping that he’d become their franchise quarterback.
After going 3-10 as a starter, while throwing for 11 touchdowns and 14 interceptions, the Cardinals found themselves with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft.
Instead of telling their fanbase that Rosen’s incapability was based on rookie mistakes, they traded him to the Miami Dolphins and selected Kyler Murray.
There’s no reason to believe that Murray won’t be an NFL MVP candidate by the time his career is over, so the Cardinals clearly made the right decision.
Not only did they get a do-over by selecting Murray, but they received a second-round pick, which turned into Andy Isabella, in addition to a fifth-round pick.
It’s quite possible that Darnold will turn into a legitimate starting quarterback and be in the NFL for a long time, but that shouldn’t matter.
There’s way too much baggage on the 23-year-old right now and if they decided to keep him, he’d have to turn into an NFL MVP candidate this season, or the fanbase would drive him out of town anyway.
There’s obviously uncertainty when it comes to drafting Justin Fields or Zach Wilson with the No. 2 overall pick.
However, the organization is in a better position letting one of them lead the charge on a rookie contract for the next five years, instead of giving Darnold another chance for one year, before they most likely don’t even pick up his fifth-year option.
Even if the Jets can get a third-round pick for Darnold’s services, it’s worth the trade. You can find an impact player in the third round of the NFL Draft easily and it wouldn’t be fair to either Darnold or that No. 2 overall rookie quarterback to have competition at training camp.
Learn from the Arizona Cardinals and make the right decision. It’s time for a fresh start in New York.